I noticed best of 2012 posts going up at least a couple of weeks ago, but I always like to give the books I read at the very tail end of the year a chance. My list is also a top 10 just for me, from books that I read in 2012, not books that were published in 2012. With any luck, I might even have reviewed most of these!
In no particular order:
The Song of Achilles, Madeline Miller
This book was such a poetic, moving portrayal of the love between two people who happened to both be men. Tying it together with one of the world’s oldest stories made it an incredible read.
Girl Reading, Katie Ward
I loved this interpretation of girls reading throughout history; each vignette, based on a portrait, was well written and gave a snapshot of women’s lives throughout history. It’s striking how things are different and yet so much the same. I really loved this one.
Chime, Franny Billingsley
Chime was a book I wanted to reread as soon as I reached the last page. It had every element that I love in a fantasy novel, and then some. It’s a shame the cover actually kept me away for as long as it did.
My first Persephone classic ends up on this list – I simply adored this book and the way that Miss Pettigrew found herself and her independence in the space of a day.
Imagined Lives: Portraits of Unknown People
This compilation by multiple different authors of fiction takes portraits featuring those whose identities have been lost from the National Portrait Gallery and imagines what their lives might have been like. Combining history with humanity and focusing on the people, this was a surprisingly good and touching read that was connected to history in a way I loved.
Among Others, Jo Walton
There aren’t many words to describe how much I loved this book. A young girl’s coming of age steeped in books and loneliness and loss, but a magical read nonetheless. If you like science fiction and fantasy, it’s so worth your time.
The October Daye series is probably my favorite urban fantasy out there, and this latest book was simply the best. I loved it to pieces, just like I love the rest of the series.
Feed, Mira Grant
And, a rare appearance by the same author, this book, the best of the trilogy in my opinion, was a political drama, emotional wringer, and zombie-infested thrill ride through the world of the news. I liked the combination of great story with the blogging angle and this particular version of the future, plus the amazing character of Georgia Carolyn Mason.
Code Name Verity, Elizabeth Wein
I doubt I need to say anything else about this book besides read it, now – it’s been on so many other lists and so frequently mentioned this year that my little mention isn’t particularly significant.
The Secret Countess, Eva Ibbotson
Finally, my most recent read on the list, I consumed this book on the train and now cannot wait to read more Eva Ibbotson.
And a couple of honorable mentions for the series that I made progress in this year:
I inhaled most of these books this year, buying them one by one from the bookstore when I’d finished each. I’ve completely gotten sucked into this series, and having just finished Changes with my jaw almost literally on the floor, I don’t see myself stopping in 2013 until I’ve reached the end of the series. Unfortunately, I’m only two books away from running out of books, so I hope Jim Butcher learns to write faster than I can read soon.
The Downside Ghosts series by Stacia Kane
While I liked the first book in this series, I fell in love – as much as you can love a drug addict who is so bad for herself – with the following three. These books are like emotional gut punches, making me fall in love with characters I never even thought I’d like. Chess Putnam is a train wreck waiting to happen, but she’s a train wreck that I am genuinely concerned for and constantly rooting for, too.
What are your top books of 2012? Feel free to send me a link in the comments, I’d love to take a look!